The drivers of nutritional change in Ethiopia 2000 2011

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Ethiopian Development Research Institute and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI/EDRI), Tenth International Conference on Ethiopian Economy, July 19-21, 2012. EEA Conference

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  • Following (Rutstein, 2008)
  • Basically, small asset changes – such as owning a radio – can sometimes promote a household from one quintile to another
  • Regional fixed effects are included, but these are quite stable
  • The drivers of nutritional change in Ethiopia 2000 2011

    1. 1. ETHIOPIAN DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTEThe Drivers of Nutritional Change inEthiopia: 2000-2011 Authors: Mekdim Dereje Derek Headey John Hoddinott IFPRI ESSP-II Ethiopian Economic Association Conference, July 19-21, 2012 Addis Ababa 1
    2. 2. 1.Introduction• Recent years have seen a surge of interest in nutrition• Early childhood nutrition outcomes often found to be strong predictors of school attendance and performance, labor market outcomes and overall cognitive ability• Still, there is controversy as to which factors are the most effective drivers of nutritional change• Nutritionists have largely focus on very nutrition-specific factors, like supplements, nutritional education, etc• But it is also widely recognized that socioeconomic factors play a big role: income/wealth, dietary change, female education, demographic change, health services… 2
    3. 3. 1.Introduction• Previous research has examined these factors, but mostly with just one wave of cross-sectional data• This paper tries to understand nutritional change over time (height for age), in a very interesting context• Ethiopia has seen solid performance in reducing malnutrition, albeit from a very low base• But not at all clear what is driving this given rapid developments on many fronts: economic growth, road investments and other infrastructures, surge in education, big drop in fertility, and so on• So we adopt a pseudo-panel approach to test which of these factors seem to be the main drivers of change over 2000-2010
    4. 4. Our focus is on child stunting – the preferred indicator of chronicmalnutrition - which fell 14 points in last 10 years.Note that decline was 16 points in urban areas, 12.7 in rural
    5. 5. Lesson 2.5 Page 4 of 28 2. Existing theory and evidence UNICEF Conceptual FrameworkNutrition outcomeshave many driversUNICEF frameworkdistinguishesbetween diets &disease asintermediate factorsThe factors, in turn,are influenced bydeeper social andeconomic factors --> Previous Next
    6. 6. 2. Existing theory and evidence• Previous research tends to suggest that some of the major socioeconomic drivers of chronic child nutrition (height for age, HAZ) are:• Income/wealth• Female education (typically secondary),• Demographics (birth spacing, no. children, mother’s age)• Health factors (burden of disease, access to services• Dietary diversity of children• Infrastructure variables like water and sanitation (although generally these are less robust)
    7. 7. 2. Existing theory and evidence• Many of the linkages between these factors and nutrition outcomes are complex: • Their impacts may have multiple pathways (e.g. female educ. raises knowledge, empowerment, income) • Impacts may interact with age, location (rural/urban), or other factors (e.g. dietary impacts depend on health)• For these reasons we disaggregate our analyses by rural and urban, and run additional robustness tests with age- specific disaggregations• In the future we will also test for other interaction effects
    8. 8. 3. Data• Data used for this study is the EDHS rounds of 2000 and 2011 (2005 data had problems with nutrition component)• Nationally representative surveys, though we drop Somali region because of sampling changes• Contains both individual level & household variables on most of the variables of interest• DHS does no measure income, but assets, which are commonly used to construct wealth indices• We construct separate indices for rural and urban
    9. 9. 3. Data• This index often performs well, but is known to be imprecise for distinguishing welfare at lower levels• Another data issue was dietary quality. In 2000 child diets were measured with 7-day recall, but in 2010 they switched to 24hr recall. We are still hoping to adjust for this, but diets are omitted for the present• However, maternal BMI may proxy a bit for household dietary quality or food security• Other explanatory variables are fairly straightforward and will be discussed below
    10. 10. 4. Methods• Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition is a pseudo-panel technique used to look at changes over time• We focus on stunting as dependent variable, though we have also run for height-for-age z-scores• Breaks down predicted change into three effects. Endowment effect Coefficient Effect Interaction Effect • Usually don’t expect much coefficient & interaction effect, except with quality changes (e.g. education) • Also note we only focus on significant differences
    11. 11. 5. Results
    12. 12. Table 1. Core regression results Urban Rural 2000 2010 2000 2010 Age, 0.031 0.044 0.021** 0.012Maternal variables Age sq. -0.001 -0.001 -0.000** 0.000 Secondary educ. -0.111* -0.102* -0.168** -0.086 Tertiary educ. -0.333** -0.158** -0.377*** -0.062 Height -0.017*** -0.008** -0.010*** -0.012*** BMI -0.005 -0.004 -0.014*** -0.012*** No work -0.167*** -0.004 -0.026 -0.023 No work (father) 0.383** 0.197 -0.067 -0.153* Diarrhea incidence 0.021 0.099 0.047** 0.047**HH wealth Child vars. Age, 0.028*** 0.020*** 0.030*** 0.028*** Age sq. -0.000*** -0.000*** -0.000*** -0.000*** Birth interval 0.000 -0.002*** -0.002*** -0.001 poor -0.590*** 0.213 -0.007 -0.013 middle -0.185 -0.016 -0.035 -0.053** rich -0.269* -0.054 -0.046* -0.051** richest -0.360*** -0.054 -0.035 -0.057 R-squared 0.22 0.16 0.13 0.13
    13. 13. 5. Results• Summarizing: maternal education an important factor in urban areas, but disappears in rural areas in 2010• Maternal nutrition highly significant, especially height• Diarrhea incidence significant in rural areas only• Wealth index significant, but not very robustAlso note that there were many variables excludedbecause they were never significant: medical attendanceat birth, maternal literacy, improved water supply,improved toilet facilities
    14. 14. 5. Results• The decomposition results are somewhat disappointing because endowment changes do not explain any sizeable declines in stunting• In other words, most of the change is linked to coefficient changes that are not easy to explain• Age-disaggregated results to do not improve the results• We may switch to 2005-2011 comparisons since these datasets are more similar, including diets• But this would require addressing some of the measurement problems with stunting in the 2005 data
    15. 15. Conclusion• The substantial progress against stunting over last 10 years proves difficult to explain• There is some tentative evidence that the usual wealth, education and health factors matter, but the relationships are often quite weak, and not consistent across years or the rural-urban divide• Is the problem measurement error? (e.g. wealth)• Is it omitted variables or misspecification? (e.g. diets)• Your ideas are very welcome!

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